Deepening Creative Practice

Deepening Creative Practice

A reflection on our journey so far.

A reflection on our journey so far.

As 2020 comes to a close, and Deepening Creative Practice approaches its penultimate season, Winter, we reflect not only on the highs and lows of what has been a tumultuous year for all but also what it has meant to be part of the first-ever cohort of such a unique programme.

Whilst the pandemic caused universal disruption, this programme decided to work with it as opposed to against it. Adapting the seasonal structure so that it could work online, through the transition from the physical to the virtual, we discovered a new form of connection that can occur behind a computer screen. Although in the beginning, moving the entire programme online certainly felt like a risk, it has proved itself to be a successful, albeit sometimes challenging, exercise in preparing the participants for virtual working while continuously pushing their, and our, boundaries.

One of the most invigorating aspects of the online format has been the artist-led interventions. Despite the uncertainty and the fact that their boundaries were also being challenged, each artist has risen to the occasion and built spaces around the participants perfect for play, experimentation and exploration.

These have included dream workshops led by Bongsu Park, in which we produced art based on the group’s individual and collective dreams; moments of play facilitated by Nimble Fish who reminded us of the value of naïve enjoyment; a return to nature with Sam Nightingale who encouraged us to reflect on the environment around us; Rosalind Fowler and James Holcombe’s enlightening introduction to photochemical film and installation and Entelechy Arts’ bricolage into activism in the arts as explored in Juliet Scott and Rebecca Swift’s collaborative thought piece – Making the Invisible Visible.

All of these workshops took place via Zoom and established a diversity to using the platform that is unrecognised by most. This multiplicity of the programme is demonstrated by the psychophysical component which runs through the seasons. Whilst anxiety and stress have been running high due to our current context, the psychophysical spaces offer participants opportunities to engage with conscious awareness, inviting us to embrace our vulnerable and perceptive selves – to practise being in the here-and-now.

Although our programmes have always welcomed methods outside of the mainstream, Deepening Creative Practice introduces a creative element with the aim of supporting you whilst you explore all of the different parts of yourself, as discussed in Heather Stradling’s article for ArtsProfessional.

You do not have to be an artist to engage in creativity and imagination – instead, you can nurture this aspect of yourself regardless of your experience, in order to benefit and rethink your organisational practice. This programme is co-created and co-curated, meaning that everyone involved has a voice in deciding how the programme develops and takes shape.

Deepening Creative Practice is directed and facilitated by the Tavistock Institute, which recognises the importance of treating the arts and organisational life as intertwined as opposed to segregated. Consequently, it welcomes participants from a variety of backgrounds, to push you beyond your comfort zones and confront preconceptions about art and organisation.

We welcome conversations, your ideas, thoughts and questions about the programme.

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